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The good news for the day

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time (341)

To the father’s request that Jesus expel a demon from his son, Jesus said, “‘If you can?!’ Everything is possible to the believer.” Then the boy’s father cried, “Oh, I do believe, help my non-belief!” Seeing a quickly gathering crowd, Jesus, rebuked the infecting power: “Mute and deaf power, I command you: get out of him and never go back into him again!” Throwing the boy into noisy convulsions, it did come out. The boy looked like dead—which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took his hand, raised him, so that he stood up. Once inside a house, the people learning from Jesus asked Him in private, “Why couldn’t we get rid of that controlling power?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.” (Mark 9)

Demons are real—addictions, prejudices, blindness and deafness about caring and compassion. There are also demons of cancer, seizures and Alzheimer’s. These powers over us—and many more—influence us daily. They cause harm as much by physical aches and pains—they may be agonizing—as by depressions, guilts and despairs.

In this Gospel story, this young man—or boy—wanted to kill himself in his severe suffering. He had become unable to live—to choose and enjoy, to appreciate and be grateful, to help and to produce. His father—his caretaker—shared this terrible life, and turned to this healer, Jesus, for help.

Faith—prayerful faith—Jesus says, makes the difference. You may ask whether mere faith can cure epilepsy, addiction—or any of real demons that exercise power over your life. Your answer is “yes”—not as a cure that people can see, no. But in the sense that your real inner life—your prayerful mind and heart—can exercise power over demonic powers. This story reminds you of caring love—your heart that overcomes such powers with “I believe—but it is hard—help my non-belief to grow into peace. Prayer is power—to effect change.

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